Wednesday, January 30, 2013

DIY: Natural Moth Repellent Sachets

It's really hard to buy a present for Mr. Minimalist.  He's just one of those people.  One year I bought him a sweater.  Another year, a soft scarf, and the year after that? A nice winter hat.  This is how unoriginal I've become.

Thanks to our moth infestation, we no longer own any of those things.  I guess that's the one good thing about moths-- now I have a list of presents lined up for the coming years.

But in all seriousness, it's a real problem.  Moths are attracted to dark untouched corners, and even in a small space like ours, there are plenty of those.  

Mothballs have never been an option-- I can't stand the smell.  Now that I know that they're terribly toxic to have in your house, I feel justified in my peevishness.  But mothballs do work, and I've had a really difficult time finding a natural alternative to those convenient little parcels of chemicals.

I scoured the internet for solutions to our problems.  And, after ironing, dry cleaning, hot washing and tossing (all solutions to killing the moths and larvae on infested clothing that I read about on the internet), I resolved to go whole hog into the natural moth repellent business.  

What helps?  Although nothing is for sure, there are scores of herbs and other natural ingredients that you can use around your house to ward off those flying nightmares.  Here are the top few:
  • Cedar 
    • You can buy the essential oil, or blocks of cedar wood and keep these around-- but remember the wood goes old, and has to be refreshed by sanding or adding oil;
  • Eucalyptus
    • They are sold where ever flowers are... supermarkets, florists, etc.;
  • Lavender
    • Available dried at florists, natural food stores;

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The 300 Square Foot Apartment

My Micro NY adAPT
Rendering of the new micro apartment                           Photo by NYC Mayor's Office

And you thought your place was small.

A while back, I wrote about finding a cure for big house envy.  I have to say, this will make you feel a lot better about wherever you live, and maybe even inspire you to downsize!

My first studio was just under 400 square feet, but it did not look nearly as spacious as the 300 square foot apartment I just saw featured today on NBC online.  The article gave a quick peak inside a mock-up apartment that represents the winner of the "My Micro NY" design contest.  There are the typical small space amenities-- nesting tables, storage ottomans, Murphy beds.  But they are all done with such suave attention to modern detail that you don't even mind having a bed that folds into a wall.

So next time you're bummed about your teeny tiny place, just think-- it could be micro!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Resolution: DIY

My New Year's resolutions are pretty unoriginal.

Every year, I vow to be more healthy, lose however many extra pounds I'm holding on to at that moment, be more in that moment, write more, be a better listener and refrain from giving unwanted advice.

Invariably, I fail on all counts.

So this year, I resolved to make a better kind of resolution.  I want some instant New Year's gratification.  Don't get me wrong, I'm still going to work on my traditional goals which are more like constant struggles... but in addition I want a resolution I can literally tick off the list and say-- DONE!

So here it is: DIY.

I used to be very into small do-it-yourself projects...

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

This Week's (Big) Small Find: Paint

Sorry, I know this may sound like a bit of a cop-out.  After all, everyone knows about paint.  But, I have to tell you, you're going to love me once you read this.

I've been recovering from a flu that the Little One shared with me and my husband, and when we get sick in this house, the TV comes on... a lot.  I know this is probably bad parenting (and a bad habit for us adults as well) but when I'm sick sometimes I just can't deal, and putting Sesame Street on for the Little One to keep her happy while I nurse my cold on the couch is the best solution.  And while she's sleeping, the channel changes, and I watch all sorts of mindless programming.

So this past week, I watched Rachael Ray...

Saturday, January 5, 2013

This Is What Parenthood Looks Like

We had big plans for New Year's 2013.

Well, not really.  Not big in comparison to the thousands of people crammed into Times Square to watch the ball drop.  Not big in comparison with all the revelers at the clubs, or the hordes of students celebrating in the streets.

But big for us.

For weeks, we had planned on a trip to see my folks and a bunch of friends in Boston.  Over the last few years, we have developed a tradition of having a New Year's Day brunch at my folks place-- multi-generational, with little ones running around, and adults of all ages milling around, eating good food, catching up and relaxing.  For New Year's Eve, a friend hosts a small house party which is always intimate and wonderful.

We were looking forward to New Year's Eve...